Interior Design: The Great Return of the Seventies

Patricia Velásquez

Intense colors, psychedelic forms and a touch of surrealism. The most representative artists and designers in the world declare the return of the 70s through their most recent works.

The  style of the seventies is more popular than ever, giving the term “retro” new life as this recognizable style reemerges in today’s interior design.  A recent report from the online design platform Clippings, which travels around the world analyzing trends, discovered that the most experimental and expressive side of the seventies can be seen in today’s interior design fairs and in designs from all over the world: including Milan, New York, Paris, Copenhagen, London and Stockholm.

Predominant bright colors, geometric figures of all sizes, and square and circular patterns in shades of orange, yellow, pink and  neutral colors have taken the interior design industry by storm. Spaces such as Tin House by Henning Stummel, in the United Kingdom, or the exhibition of Via Solferino, Italy, by Dimore Studio, are some examples that take a new look at the 70s.

Interior 70s
A contemporary living room, in full 70s style. / © Pixabay.

Response to technology

Much has been speculated about the reasons for this return to the past, which is not only aesthetic. The new millennial generation is responsible for having sold more than 14 million vinyl records in 2017 alone, a technology that seemed on its way to extinction. Another puzzling comeback from the seventies is calligraphy, which has recently become popular on Etsy and Pinterest.

Decoración 70s
Discos de vinilo, otro efecto de la onda retro. / © StockSnap

These days, everything seems to happen too fast and people write on mobile and computer keyboards, so the idea of “retro” appears to have taken people back to a slower and more romantic time which has been capitalized on by hipsters everywhere.

Last year, the influence of disco and seventies art took over the most important decor showrooms in the world. The latest collection of Hermès Maison, for instance, featured an intricate space of dim-lighted rooms covered in blue and raspberry red tiles, which invited visitors to explore their dark corners.

Interior 70s
© StockSnap

This revival was also seen in spaces such as Studiopepe’s Club Unseen, an installation created this year for the Salone del Mobile in Milan. Studio designers Arianna Lelli and Chiara Di Pinto recreated a secret and surrealist bar in a room with a late 19th century look. Among other pieces of furniture and details, voluptuous sofas with brocaded edges were protagonists of a casual space impregnated with a feeling of comfort and freedom.

The 70s decor style is based on round shapes to compose balanced spaces, as well as materials such as vinyl and leather, especially in pieces like sofas or armchairs, often combined with aluminum and glass.

decoracion interior 70s
© StockSnap

A return to natural materials is also regaining strength and meaning. We can see that in stuffed cushions and carpets of different natural textures —wool, cotton— which are an important part of this retro wave.

The great contribution of the 70s in interior design was to lay the foundations for what would be the great trends of the remaining 20th century. Will the fifties or the crazy twenties come back? It’s possible, perhaps because in times of uncertainty, it is common for people to look back and find the comforting feeling of nostalgia. ■

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